Staying in my Lane

So 2022 has brought so many changes in my life. Mostly in my career. I had been working for a small non-profit as the executive director part-time until this last January when I excepted a full-time position. I had been praying for this for so long and when it came to pass I was almost shocked. It has been so exciting and challenging at the same time. I have big dreams for this ministry and sometimes waiting on God’s timing is just so hard. His timing is not our timing this I know for sure. I have found dreaming big can bring disappointments and heartaches. Especially if we do what we think is right before he tells us to. Sometimes it is about wanting His will for your life and ministry and trusting Him and growing your faith at the same time.

Other times it is about GOING FOR IT. Sometimes doing this can require even more faith. I know that sometimes this year I have found myself feeling like I am on a highway and I am behind a car that is just not as motivated as I am to get to their destination. It can be frustrating to say the least. But, getting out of our lane and going around this vehicle before our time can be dangerous. I Know that there is a perfect timing for GOING FOR IT. Sometimes we can stay behind this slower vehicle the whole trip which is what a lot of us do. It is safe. But, we may be take much much longer than we had expected. This will cause us to be angry and maybe even just complacent. I have been in this spot many times. This year God said it was time to step on the gas and move out of our safe lane and move into what God had for us. He has blessed us. Yes the trip isn’t over and we find this same scenario happens again and again. Yet if we follow our GPS (GOD) we will be happy with the trip and will get to our destination in a timely manner and safe without rerouting too many times. When he says Go may we have the courage to step on that gas.

God help us to trust your timing and stay in our lane until you say GO!

Enjoy your Day!

Renee’

HELP!!!!!!!

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It has been a while since I wrote on here. My life has moved forward in many ways which is positive because anytime you move forward it is amazing. BUT, during this time I found myself overwhelmed and sometimes if I am being honest very fearful. Even though I knew my calling and that I had heard from God I still found myself falling back into the motion of doing it on my own. Every time I found myself falling into that I would see my momentum come to a screeching halt.

You see I am one of those people that will work unending hours to prove I can do something and then watch every other part of my life fall apart around me while I am proving myself. I had seen this happen so many times before. You would think working more would rectify the problem but nope my work load just seemed to grow and grow and grow. I guess the problem is I had asked God to take the wheel of my vehicle (life). When we started this journey He was driving and things were going smoothly. Then as soon as I thought the process wasn’t moving fast enough I took the wheel back from God. Now we are lost, I got a speeding ticket and we are almost out of Gas.

What do I do? I call for HELP!!!! I am so thankful that I have a God that will come get me when I am in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire and empty tank of gas in the middle of a snowstorm When he shows up again he doesn’t say Renee’ I told you this would happen. Or What were you thinking trying to drive yourself. He says how about you me put this can of gas in your tank, fix your flat tire and If you want I can drive you home during the storm so you can relax.

As I sit here with tears in my eyes thankful for everything he has done for me and all that he is in my life I remember the verse in God’s word that says this:

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
    and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

He will always lead and guide me. He will never leave me alone. He will help me when I call on him. I just need to cry out for help.

If you are struggling today because you have taken the wheel back from God. Cry out HELP!!!….he is just a call away.

BE BLESSED ON YOUR JOURNEY

Renee’

Photo by Jacob Moore on Pexels.com

 I experienced heart wretching grief this month. I lost a dear friend who had been a client at my resource center for many years. I had seen her fight through so many obstacles and trials most of us would have never made it through. She had the fiercest and purest love for her children. She would deny herself everything to give them what they needed. I have questioned why and asked God so many questions around his reasons for allowing these children such incredible pain. The hopeless and complete emptiness was swallowing me up as I struggled with my grief. Then as I opened his word. I read this verse and it felt like someone had rubbed an antiseptic ointment over my wound. In Isaiah 25:8 he says this ” He will swallow up death [in victory; He will abolish death forever]. And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the reproach of His people He will take away from off all the earth; for the Lord has spoken it.”  When I feel like she was overlooked and failed by systems set up by man I know that now she is safe and cared for in heaven. Her scars are gone and she is peaceful and happy. He has victory over death. He is a good good father and is capable of redeeming her death and providing peace and comfort to her family and all who love her.

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Daddy it’s getting heavy.

Let’s take a walk Daddy said. OK but first I need to get a few things. I ran to get my wagon and begin to fill it with my treasure. All the stuff a little girl can’t live without. Most of the stuff in my wagon most people would look at as completely worthless garbage but to me I saw it as priceless items. We began to walk and talk and at first it was easy as the road was smooth and straight but then we veered onto a much smaller trail much curvier and full of rocks and small pebbles. They would get stuck in my wheels and make pulling harder. He looked down as he saw my face scrunch. Do you need help? No Daddy I can do it myself. We continued walking and talking. Pretty soon we came to a spot near the river where the ground was wet and muddy. He noticed I had stopped talking as I struggled to keep going as my wheels would sink in the mud. My face is red and little beads of sweat have formed. Finally in my silence I can see my Dad look down at me and say Do you want my help yet? My eyes would get full of tears and I would say Daddy it is heavy. He would reach down wrap his hand around my little hand and together we would pull. I would immediately feel the weight lift even though my body still had to take time to calm down. Pretty soon my voice began to be heard chatting again. He would look down and smile as to say I have always been here you just need to tell me when you need me.

Shhhhhhhhh!

So today I sit in the rocking chair by the window holding a little boy who is crying something terrible. I hold him tight and whisper softly. He is restless and alittle angry I fear. I have done everything I could think of to calm his little spirit but to know avail. I thought at one moment he wanted to be free of me so I put him down on the rug but as soon as I did that he cried harder and came crawling toward me. I realized that he didn’t know what he wanted at this moment in time. He knew he was sad and angry and uncomfortable. I knew what he needed was to trust me and rest.

Isn’t that just like most of us today we don’t know what we want. Freedom or not freedom. We have everything we need but we aren’t satisfied. What we need is rest. We need to lay down and trust the master with our lives. Our constant temper tantrums and crying and bickering and madness and unrest do nothing but exhaust us even more.

Today on November 3rd when the world is at odds and anxiety is running rampant in our nation. Let’s listen to the soft whispers of our savior as he tells us everything is OK. We hear him sing softly to us. He is holding us through it all. We will be OK. Let us rest Now!

Clean your filter

I woke up this morning later than normal because its saturday and It is allowed. I made my coffee and took my dogs outside. The birds were singing and the sun was shining but I felt cloudy and dark and gloomy inside. I came in and sat down with my coffee to do my daily devotion and I picked up my phone which is always a detour for me by the way. I stumbled across a live worship set one of the churches my parents were on staff with was posting. I kept it on and sat it down and thought I will do some cleaning and listen to this as my devotions today. So as I picked up the windex and started to clean I began to feel a lump develop in my throat. I heard the song from my phone and all of a sudden they came falling slowly from the corners of my eyes until before I knew it I was in full blown sob mode. I heard that soft still small voice whisper how long has it been Renee since you cleaned this filter. I saw the tears and water pour over the dirtiest heart shaped filter I had ever seen. So much dust and impurities had built up. I fell to my knees and raised my head to heaven and let God do his work. I heard the beautiful words coming from my phone. The tears went on longer than I had expected but soon they subsided. I don’t honestly remember the how long I was on the floor but when I got up It was like the clouds had lifted…my glasses were cleaned. My life felt clean again.

How long has it been since you cleaned your filter.

It talks about this in the bible it says…

Psalm 51:10-19 King James Version (KJV)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me

I experienced that today and I am greatful because we were created to reflect Gods glory and if we are full of gunk like bitterness and sadness and regret and fear we will not reflect who God is to a nation who desperately needs to see it.

SHINE ON FRIENDS

Grounding

I have to admit my emotions have been one giant rollercoaster ride. The last 3 weeks have been jarring and unexpected and for most of us we feel disconnected.

Today as I sat in the back yard letting the kids play I felt God tell me to take my shoes off. YA I did the same thing and my face scrunched up. But he kept saying it. So I took them off and as I walked around the yard I felt him tell me that He is not oblivious to the disconnection I feel. He wants me to dig my feet in to the earth and not let the media and my anxiety pull me into a wild ride of fear and emotional chaos. He is here and he is holding me down and will be my Rock. I felt so calm as the warmth of the sun beat on my face and I felt the grass beneath my feet. The peace I felt was unmatched to anything I had felt in a long while. I felt stable and like my DADDY was standing right beside me and nothing would beable to get past his protection. Feel that today

HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US!!

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

GET OUTSIDE TODAY…Take off your shoes and get grounded. Let him encourage you today…we can’t hug but God isnt under social distancing regulations. Let him HUG you!!

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Is this a TIME OUT?

I remember in kindergarten these small simple rules were drilled into us. Keep your hands to yourself and Worry about yourself. It seems like todays society has completely disregarded these simple things and it has really hurt us.   Especially on social media.   People are constantly judging other people’s actions. They point fingers and want everyone to do things the way they would do things. It is frustrating. We watch our government and its like a giant kindergarten argument over who gets to be the LINE LEADER. Can we just all learn to get along? I see this even more in Motherhood. How people bicker over how others raise thier kids or clean thier homes. Do they work fulltime or stay at home with thier kids? When did just doing your best become not enough?

Most of my waking hours are spent being a childcare provider. It is a daily grind of telling those little ones to stop touching one another. I constantly remind them that they need to worry about themselves. Be loving and kind. How would you like it if they said that to you? Because of this there isn’t a day that’s gone by where I am not reminded of my actions being less that perfect because I hear my own words in my head on repeat.

I wonder if our world is being put on a giant time out. Maybe God is telling us to Change our Hearts before he let’s us go back to being with our friends.

Let’s review our preschool rules and learn to be more loving and kind. Stop our whining. Use manners like Please and thank you. Share our things. Worry about ourselves and most importantly WASH OUR HANDS. It doesn’t take much to be a good person but it does take action on our part.

Striving for what?

So I use to think that becoming a better me would only come to pass if I did the huge transformation. I had to lose 75 lbs and go back to school, be a workout junky and become debt free all in the same week. Ofcouse my unrealistic expectations made it impossible to grow as I would fail before I even began. How would I ever see a goal to completion by self sabotaging myself at every turn? I am still constantly trying to be better. I need to continue to see progress in my life or I feel like I am not my best self. But I realize now that I can grow daily and weekly and yearly throughout my life by consistently living life intentionally.

I can do small intentional steps that make big strides over time. I can learn to let go of my negative talk. I can let go of toxic thoughts like the grass is always greener somewhere else or blaming others for things that I dont like in my life.

I learned to keep my house tidier not by doing everything in one sitting but starting with 15 minutes a day. Marked improvement happened when I was consistent.

I improved my financial situation by having a plan. The same should happen with everyday life. I Didnt write a check and pay off everything in one sitting. But we paid one thing off at a time until we saw each debt drop away. But we had to be consistent.

I will never learn more about Jesus or how to be more like him if I dont spend more time with him daily. It is so easy to neglect that time. But as I give him more and more time I see my motivation to be consistent improve. I actually want to get better. I want to be more compassionate and more giving. Yet, without knowing the personhood of Jesus my constant striving becomes purposeless and self serving. I remember reading the Quote “GIRL, READ YOUR BIBLE” for the first time last year and It hit me like a ton of bricks. What is the reason for my striving is it just purely selfish or do I truly want to be more like Jesus. I certainly don’t want to wake up one day and realize I did all of this work for absolutely nothing more than a few likes on social media. The only LIKE I need is the one I will get at the end of my life from Jesus when I hear WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT!

Be blessed!

Renee’

The Belly Button Conundrum

OPINIONS are like belly buttons we all have one. How many of us have heard this or a version of it? We aren’t going to curb this. It is part of our human makeup. A God given way to choose what we like or dislike. What is good or bad. What is fun or not fun.

Somewhere over the years expressing your opinion has opened many up for a mirad of hatefulness. Since when did free speech become less than free. Why is it so hard to learn to discuss and debate in a manner that portrays a civilized society?

Yet I don’t believe it is by accent. In proverbs it tells us that just wanting to say your opinion without hearing the otherside is being foolish.

An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels. Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.
Proverbs 18:1‭-‬2 NIV

I think today we really need to try harder to hear and communicate with others. Especially those who may think differently than us.

Another verse in proverbs puts it this way….

In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.
Proverbs 18:17 NIV.

Listening has become a lost art in America. We talk talk talk like champs. But making educated decisions based on both sides has been pretty lacking. We need to be better. Let’s listen to both sides. Let us do it with love and compassion. Being religious does not mean you are always right and being educated doesnt mean you never make mistakes. We need to be better and listening and truly hearing the hearts of others before we judge and jump to conclusions based on feelings alone.

These are my opinions…..thank you for taking time to listen. Happy Thursday!!!